5 Critical Things You Need to Know About ATV and Snowmobile Insurance
Are you planning to enjoy some motorized outdoor fun this winter and spring? Here are 5 critical things you need to know about ATV and snowmobile insurance.
As millions of people drive uninsured or with inadequate insurance, many of them have no clue they should be thinking about insurance for recreational vehicles.
If you're considering driving one or have been for a while, it's time to consider ATV (all terrain vehicles), UTV (utility task vehicles), or snowmobile insurance. These policies can help to ensure that you're well protected if you get hurt while having fun on these exciting, but sometimes treacherous vehicles.
Here are five things that we believe you need to know about insurance for these vehicles.
1. Is It Required?
If you're a fan of riding around in the snow on an ATV or snowmobile, you know the importance of doing it safely. Anyone in a community of people who are fans knows of someone who has been in an accident if they haven't gotten in one themselves. Whether it's a collision with another rider, a tree, or just a covered ditch, you want to be covered no matter what.
When it comes to requirements, not every state in the nation requires you to have coverage for riding an ATV or snowmobile. You'll find that about half of the states in the nation require coverage for all owners and riders. If you're not in a state where it's required, that doesn't mean you should overlook this type of insurance.
When you're injured in a snowmobile accident, all the snow gear in the world won't keep you from suffering bodily harm. There could be expensive medical fees, legal bills, and vehicle repairs that will come out of your pocket if you're not covered. Rather than let yourself be subject to that, get covered instead.
Note that you'll likely need separate coverage for each vehicle.
2. Which Type of Liability?
When you're looking at insurance for your ATV, UTV or snowmobile, you're going to have to decide on different types of liability. This is for when you hurt someone else or damage someone else's property.
While you might be riding through large fields where you don't anticipate any property, there could be things around that you don't see. You could also be accused of damaging something that you rode past or near buried under the snow. If this is the case, you could be hit with a huge bill.
That's where property damage liability comes in.
Again, if you're off in secluded areas riding through empty fields, you might never think you'll hit anyone. But you could end up hitting a friend or loved one that you're riding alongside. When this is the case, there will be massive medical bills and if you're not insured, you'll both be up the creek, potentially ruining your relationship.
If you get medical payment coverage, you can ensure that payments are covered for anyone riding your ATV or snowmobile. Surgeries, hospital stays, or even transportation from far off areas can be extremely costly.
3. What about Folks who are either UNinsured or UNDERinsured?
These two words have a vastly different purposes, which is why we are choosing to use capitals to bring attention to the differences of each.
If you or someone riding your vehicle is hurt by someone else who doesn't have insurance OR not enough insurance, these types of optional insurance coverages can step in to help you out of an unanticipated pickle (e.g. unknown issue with an accident/situation). Just know that even when insurance is required by law, some individuals might fail to purchase it.
- Uninsured motorists: Essentially, if someone else is at fault and they have no insurance at the time of the accident/incident, your purchase of Uninsured Motorist coverage will cover bodily injury and/or property damage caused by the other motorist. This kind of coverage has an upper limit of what it will pay per individual or per accident. Really, this kind of coverage is pretty common, and is a smart choice on your part.
- Underinsured motorists: If someone else is at fault and causes bodily injury and/or property damage, they may have purchased insurance with lower limits. While more affordable for them, lower limits may not be enough to cover medical bills or repair of property damage they cause. Underinsurance "bridges the gap", so to speak, between what they can pay vs. what your bills actually cost. It's definitely a smart purchase option to place on your insurance policy.
These coverages intend to cover you so that you're not left absorbing medical costs and property damage caused by others. If someone is at fault, you'd want their insurance to kick in and cover the things they're responsible for.
Consider adding these coverages, if it's in your budget.
4. What about "Exclusions"?
Owners and operators need to know what's excluded from coverage. There is a lot of illegal behavior or extra risky things that no insurance company wants to touch.
If you end up racing, legally or illegally, you'll need to get a special kind of insurance. Most insurance policies are there to cover basic commuting or recreation. People who take their ATVs or snowmobiles to competitive events will need to shop elsewhere.
If you end up riding your vehicle on a highway or a road, even in extreme conditions, insurance coverage most likely isn't going to cover you. That's because you've made a choice that happens to be illegal. Also, within state-owned properties, you usually can't operate one of these vehicles.
However, you can usually cross a road or a highway under certain conditions. There are typically designated places for crossing. Just remember that randomly choosing to cross over a median is often prohibited.
5. What does it Cost?
The type of coverage you purchase and how comprehensive it is will impact how much it costs. There are several factors that impact the cost of your policy but they're usually inexpensive. You may be able to get covered for just $10-$20 per month, which is a deal when you consider the literal thousands of dollars that a collision could cost you.
Since insurance allows you to purchase peace of mind and safety for your family and loved ones, we feel that it's well worth the cost. You may agree with this. Being protected while you're out on the trails is a privilege you should take advantage of.
Under most circumstances, this type of coverage is going to be less than a motorcycle policy. However, there are times when if you're covering an ATV, you might really be purchasing a motorcycle policy from some insurance carriers. It all depends on the insurance carrier that is covering you. Since accidents are usually single-vehicle incidents, most injuries stem from the dangers of just using the vehicle.
ATV, UTV, and Snowmobile Insurance are Smart Ideas
If you own one or more recreational vehicles, we recommend that you should get them insured.
We want to be able to earn your business. If you want to get your vehicle(s) insured, OR if you have more questions, please reach out to us contact us today.